COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Adolescents Aged 12–17 Years

United States, December 14, 2020-July 16, 2021

Anne M. Hause, PhD; Julianne Gee, MPH; James Baggs, PhD; Winston E. Abara, MD; Paige Marquez, MSPH; Deborah Thompson, MD; John R. Su, MD, PhD; Charles Licata, PhD; Hannah G. Rosenblum, MD; Tanya R. Myers, PhD; Tom T. Shimabukuro, MD; David K. Shay, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2021;70(31):1053-1058. 

In This Article

Review of V-safe Data

During December 14, 2020–July 16, 2021, v-safe enrolled 66,350 adolescents aged 16–17 years who received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (Table 3). After Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for adolescents aged 12–15 years (beginning May 10, 2021), v-safe enrolled 62,709 adolescents in this age group. During the week after receipt of dose 1, local (63.9%) and systemic (48.9%) reactions were commonly reported by adolescents aged 12–15 years; systemic reactions were more common after dose 2 (63.4%) than dose 1 (48.9%). Reporting trends were similar for adolescents aged 16–17 years: systemic reactions were reported among 55.7% after dose 1 and 69.9% after dose 2. For each dose and age group, reactions were reported most frequently the day after vaccination. The most frequently reported reactions for both age groups after either dose were injection site pain, fatigue, headache, and myalgia.

During the week after receipt of dose 2, approximately one third of adolescents in both age groups reported fever. Nearly one quarter of adolescents in both age groups reported they were unable to perform normal daily activities the day after dose 2. Fewer than 1% of adolescents aged 12–17 years required medical care in the week after receipt of either dose; 56 adolescents (0.04%) were hospitalized.